The combination of low wages and high housing costs has been devastating for thousands of Massachusetts families. The lack of supports and affordable housing, along with disconnected and fragmented system, has contributed to housing instability and a lack of economic mobility.
On Solid Ground Coalition (OSG), led by the Executive Committee made up of the Center for Social Policy (CSP), Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), and Homes for Families (HFF), is a diverse group of partners committed to improving housing stability and economic mobility for families living in Massachusetts through a cross-sector research, evidence-informed advocacy, and family engagement in our 4 main areas of focus:
Advance system coordination and efficiency to improve access to support services for families
Improve system coordination between different state agencies for better service delivery and increase investment in services that provide economic mobility for families with extremely low-incomes (incomes of less than 30% of the area median income). A coordinated system can help prevent homelessness, minimize cliff effects and provide case management to support housing and economic stability.
Combat cliff effects by changing policies that cause families to lose benefits due to higher earnings
Adjust programs and improve policies so that slight increases in income do not cause families economic hardships due to loss of supports or “cliff effects”.
Support efforts for increasing resources and opportunities for affordable housing
Expand the stock of affordable housing as well as rental assistance vouchers for households with extremely low-incomes; preserve existing privately and publicly subsidized homes.
Establish data collection and sharing system to enable evidence-driven policy design
Collect and analyze data and track progress within state agencies and their nonprofit partners towards an agreed upon set of goals related to housing stability and economic mobility.
On Solid Ground uses mixed methods research using qualitative and quantitative data to form policy agenda and conduct legislative and budget advocacy.
Our Family Liaisons Group of parent leaders are an integral part of the Coalition and help identifying the issues and solutions to advocate for better policies and programs.
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Our Coalition was formed around a report released in 2014, that brought to light the multiple factors that contribute to family instability by identifying the gaps in programs meant to serve families with low-income; documenting the role of federal and state rental subsidy programs; and demonstrating the interconnected roles of rental assistance, childcare, and employment assistance in increasing family incomes.
The coalition of agencies undertook both quantitative and qualitative research for this paper and conducted focus groups with numerous stakeholders across the Commonwealth like families who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness, service providers, and public employees.
CLICK HERE to download the full report, On Solid Ground: Building Opportunity, Preventing Homelessness.
CLICK HERE to download the a two page summary of the report.
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